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In this issue:
Security on the Grid
Colloquium Wednesday
Push-Pull Detector Approved for the ILC
Electrical Engineer's Photos in Local Show

SLAC Today

Friday - March 2, 2007

Security on the Grid

A powerful new vision of computing—called grid computing—is becoming a reality.  Although the web now facilitates data access, it is limited by storage and computing capabilities. Grid computing takes one step further by connecting servers around the world, pooling resources and sharing computing power and data storage. Today's grids are invaluable tools for large-scale scientific projects like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

"Grid computing spans across organizations and across countries," said Bob Cowles, SLAC's Computer Security Officer. "Developing such a grid is a very difficult problem, and the LHC experiments are depending on grids for all their analyses when the machine becomes operational at the end of the year." Cowles also works with the Open Science Grid (OSG), a distributed computing infrastructure for scientific research. SLAC is a charter member of the OSG.

A primary example of grid computing is SLAC's role as a Tier 2 computing center for the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) Collaboration. In this capacity, SLAC and other institutions will provide computing resources for the entire scientific community. Grid software is still rapidly evolving, but eventually researchers will be able to take advantage of computing power from every corner of the planet. "You don't care where
the job gets run," Cowles said. "You just send it off and you get your results back."  Read more...

Colloquium Monday

Colloquium Wednesday

Please note that next week's colloquium, "SESAME: Reality or a Parallel Universe?," will take place on Wednesday, March 7th. More information will appear in Wednesday's edition of SLAC Today.

SLAC Welcomes
New Employees

(Photo - New employees)
Click on image for larger version.

SLAC welcomed 11 new employees yesterday at orientation. From left to right, front to back, they are: James Burtnett, Faheema Yusuf, Richard Burgess, Frank Cooper, Sujoy Roy, Susan Schultz, Paul Chu, Walter Leclerc, Ralf Kaehler, Charlotte Carlson, and Sean Kalsi.

Push-Pull Detector Approved for the ILC

In an earlier SLAC Today column, Andrei Seryi discussed a proposal to use just one beamline to service two detectors—in a push-pull alternating arrangement—at the International Linear Collider (ILC). The proposal was recently accepted and approved by the ILC organization. Director Barry Barish discussed the change to the baseline design in an ILC NewsLine Director's Corner, excerpted here.

In the original baseline configuration, we planned for two beamlines servicing two detectors placed at two different interaction points. However, once we obtained costing information, it became apparent that the beam lines are very expensive and comparable to the cost of the detectors. For that reason, we initiated a study last September to check whether eliminating one beam line and sharing a single interaction region was an option.
. . .
The Change Control Board made their recommendation to the GDE Executive Committee on 23 December.... The Executive Committee has approved the basic recommendation to change the baseline and the "push-pull" configuration has been adopted as the configuration in the Reference Design Report and Costing. The two-IR option will be carried as an alternative. We anticipate that we will form a group with the WWS to guide the engineering design of the push-pull system.

Electrical Engineer's Photos in Local Show

(Photo - Dan Van Winkle)
Dan Van Winkle

Some people have six cars, six cats, or six kids. Dan Van Winkle has six cameras. For more than 25 years, the self-taught photographer has used his lenses and keen eye to capture stirring images.

"I love photographing scenery," said Van Winkle, a Marin native. "The Golden Gate Bridge is my favorite thing to photograph—it looks so different in different lights. It's always striking."

Inspired by the California landscape and by his grandfather, a commercial photographer, Van Winkle first learned to snap photos for his high school newspaper. "I used to swear I would become a photojournalist," Van Winkle said. Now, the electrical engineer for PEP-II and the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) has a renewed interest for his long-time hobby.

"A few years ago, I decided this is something I'd like to work on more seriously," he said. "I've made time for photography, and I even took a road trip to Utah over the winter break for the sole purpose of taking photographs."

Van Winkle, the current Chair of the Marin Photography Club's digital group, has won several awards in club and regional competitions. But his admittance to Stanford's continuing studies class, "Creating a Photo Exhibition: From Concept to Opening," was one of his biggest honors yet.

"We were admitted based on the quality of our portfolios, and the competition was really stiff. I'm in the company of really skilled artists."

The class has taught Van Winkle how to host an art show, from writing press releases and artist statements to portfolio submission and buying wine for the reception. Beginning tonight with a gala opening, Van Winkle and his classmates will exhibit their photos at the Modernbook Gallery in Palo Alto. He hopes the show will help him realize a new artist's dream.

"I want to reach the level where people will enjoy the visual aspects of my work, and maybe even buy some for their walls," he said. "In the end, having my art hang on someone's wall is sort of the ultimate acknowledgement that I am doing something right." 

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